Originally created 04/01/04

Awards given for pieces on nuclear weapons, affirmative action



ATLANTA -- Boston's WGBH-TV won three Peabody awards Wednesday for programs about string theory, one of the nation's most dangerous manufacturing companies and a racially motivated killing and how it mobilized the civil rights movement.

NBC News received a Peabody for a Tom Brokaw piece on the controversy surrounding the University of Michigan and its affirmative action policy, while CBS News was cited for a "60 Minutes" report on conflicts of interest and abuses of power by government and military contractors.

The Peabodys, considered among the most prestigious and selective prizes in electronic media, recognize excellence and meritorious work by radio and television stations, networks, webcasters, producing organizations and individuals.

The winners were announced Wednesday in Atlanta. The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia has administered the Peabodys since the program's inception in 1940. "Today" show host Katie Couric will serve as master of ceremonies for the 63rd annual awards May 17 in New York.

The three winners from WGBH-TV all aired on PBS: "The Elegant Universe," "FRONTLINE: A Dangerous Business" and "The Murder of Emmett Till."

Other winners Wednesday included cable TV's Showtime for "Soldier's Girl," a drama portraying a transgender romance with tragic consequences that was based on a true story.

"Dora the Explorer" from MTV Networks/Nickelodeon, HBO's "The Wire" and BBC America's "The Office" also received Peabodys.

Bill Moyers was cited for career achievement, mostly recently his series "NOW with Bill Moyers" and the documentary "Becoming American: The Chinese Experience."

Among the radio winners: "American Mavericks," KSJN-FM/Minnesota Public Radio's 13-part series, hosted by Suzanne Vega, that recounts the evolution of distinct American classical music.

List of the 2004 George Foster Peabody Award winners

Winners of the George Foster Peabody Awards, announced Wednesday by the University of Georgia's Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication:

-"Honor and Betrayal: Scandal at the Academy," KMGH-TV, Denver, Colo.; report on sexual abuse of female cadets, which resulted in the removal of the entire United States Air Force Academy's leadership.

-"60 Minutes: All In the Family," CBS News, New York; report uncovers relationships between government officials and defense contractors, which led to military decisions replete with conflict of interest and abuses of power.

-"A Question of Fairness," NBC News, New York; Tom Brokaw report on the controversy surrounding the University of Michigan and its affirmative action policy.

-"Jobless Recovery: Non-Working Numbers," The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, MacNeil/Lehrer Productions presented on PBS; Correspondent Paul Solman gives easy-to-understand explanations of complicated economic issues.

-"War Photographer," Christian Frei Film productions; photographer James Nachtwey documentary explores the moral dilemmas of journalism, particularly the issues of how and when should the observer become a participant in the most horrific events of our time.

-"The Elegant Universe," NOVA/WGBH (Boston) and Channel 4, presented on PBS; production makes accessible one of the most complicated and controversial theories in science, the string theory.

-"Flag Wars," P.O.V./American Documentary Inc., in association with Independent Television Services (ITVS), Zula Pearl Films and National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), presented on PBS; examines the conflicts between cultures and classes in Columbus, Ohio, offering a close-up portrait of clashes between privilege, poverty and politics.

-"Two Towns of Jasper," P.O.V./American Documentary Inc., in association with Independent Television Service (ITVS) and National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), presented on PBS; story of a modern-day lynching that forever changed a town and shook the nation.

-"Chavez: Inside the Coup," ZDF German TV in association with the Irish Film Board; Behind-the-scenes camera crews captured the events leading to the overthrow of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and his return to power 48 hours later.

-"Sisters in Pain," WEKU-FM, Down to Earth Productions; radio documentary tells the story of incarcerated women who find support for their struggles among prison staff, public defenders and a governor who granted them a rare and unusual clemency.

-"To Live Is Better Than to Die," Weijun Chen, Cinemax, TV2 Denmark, presented on Cinemax; Daily details of the struggle of three children and their parents against the AIDS epidemic in rural China.

-"Fight for Your Rights: Protect Yourself Public Education Partnership," Viacom/MTV and the Kaiser Family Foundation; comprehensive global media campaign designed to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS.

-"Beating the Odds," KRON-TV, San Francisco, Calif.; alerted by a series of news features on the plight of the poor in the Bay area, KRON viewers donated more than $2.3 million to help pay college tuition for students living in poverty.

-"Medicaid Centers Dental Investigation," WCNC-TV, Charlotte, N.C.; uncovered Medicaid scam in which a group of dentists performed unnecessary procedures on children.

-"FRONTLINE: A Dangerous Business," WGBH/Frontline, The New York Times and Canadian Broadcasting Corp., presented on PBS; exposes one of the most dangerous manufacturing companies in America.

-"Great Performances: Degas and the Dance," Thirteen/WNET (New York), presented on PBS; documentary on the life and work of the French Impressionist painter, Edgar Degas.

-"American Mavericks," KSJN-FM/Minnesota Public Radio; 13-part radio series recounts the evolution of distinct American classical music though the personal perspectives of those who were involved.

-"Mother Flew Away As a Kite," TV Asahi Corporation; tale in animation form of the horrors of war.

-"Soldier's Girl," Showtime; dramatization of a true story.

-"TRANSOM.ORG," Atlantic Public Media; online resource is the recipient of the first Peabody awarded exclusively to a Web site. that provides clear guidance, both technical and conceptual, on how to create original radio productions.

-"The Murder of Emmett Till," American Experience/WGBH (Boston), presented on PBS; film documents the racially motivated killing of Emmett Till and explores how this act mobilized the civil rights movement.

-"Hoxie: The First Stand," University of Memphis, Memphis, Tenn.; story of a small Arkansas town that decided to integrate its public schools in 1954 in the face of fierce and sometimes violent opposition.

-"Evidence of Errors," KHOU-TV, Houston, Texas; series of reports exposing thousands of errors by the Houston Police Department's crime lab, which resulted in the conviction of many innocent people.

-"Housing Investigation," WESH-TV, Winter Park, Fla.; yearlong investigation provides first statistically valid assessment of shoddy new-home construction in Florida.

-"Israel's Secret Weapon," BBC2; report exposes Israel's secret project to develop and manufacture nuclear weapons.

-"Dora the Explorer," MTV Networks/Nickelodeon; Knights, dragons and talking drawbridges used in this inventive series to teach Spanish phrases to its young audience.

-"The Wire," HBO; examines full range of human behavior.

-"The Office," BBC America; sitcom of quirky and real characters and situations set in an ordinary British business office.

-Bill Moyers, for his contributions to high quality, informative and innovative public affairs television.

On the Net:

http://www.peabody.uga.edu